HL Deb 13 October 1998 vol 593 cc786-7

3.18 p.m.

Lord Carter

My Lords, the usual channels have agreed that I should outline the arrangements being made for the two-day debate on reform of the House of Lords which is to take place tomorrow and Thursday. The House will sit for Questions at the normal times tomorrow and on Thursday. No other business will be taken on either day. I should stress that it will be a single debate and that the Companion indicates that Peers should be present for the opening speeches tomorrow and for the closing speeches on Thursday, at least. At noon today there were 106 speakers on the list. I should point out that if all Back-Benchers were to speak for an average of eight minutes the debate would last for at least 14 hours. This self-denying ordinance of eight minutes would allow the House to rise at a reasonable hour on both days.

The draft of the list of speakers will be available in the Government Whips' Office at half-past four this afternoon. It will reflect the list of speakers at that time. The list of speakers will close in the normal way at noon tomorrow. Any Peers who wish to add, or indeed remove, their names should do so as soon as possible so that the arrangements for tomorrow can proceed in good time.